ページの画像
PDF
ePub

a

XXI.

XXVII. « By Heaven, the Moors prevail! the christians yield !- From the dim landscape roll the clouds awayTheir coward leader gives for tlight the sign!

The christians have regaiu'd their heritage;
The scepter'd craven mounts to quit the field-

Before the cross has waned the crescent's ray,
Is not yon steed Orelia ?— Yes, 'i is mine! (8) And many a monastery decks the stage,
But never was she turo'd from battle-line;

And lofty church, and low-brow'd hermitage.
Lo! where the recreant spurs o'er stock and stone! The land obeys a hermit and a knight, -
Curses pursue the slave and wrath divine !

The genii these of Spain for many an age; Rivers ingulph him!»-« Hush !» in shudilering tone, This clad in sackcloth, that in armour bright, The prelate said; « rash prince, yon visiou'd form 's And that was Valour named, this Bigotry was hight. thine own.»XXII.

XXVIII. Just then, a torrent cross'd the flyer's course;

Valour was harness'd like a chief of old, The dangerous ford the kingly likeness tried ; Arm'd at all points, and prompt for knightly gest;, But the deep eddies whelm'd both man and horse, His sword was temper'd in the Ebro cold, Swept like benightcd peasant down the ride;

Morena's eagle-plume adorn'd his crest, And the proud Moslemah spread far and wide, The spoils of Afric's lion bound his breast. As numerous as their native locust band;

Fierce he stepp'd forward, and flung down his gage, Berber and Ismael's sons the spoils divide,

As if of mortal kind to brave the best. With naked scymilars mete out the land,

Him follow'd his companion, dark and sage, And for their boodsmen base the free-born natives As he, my master, sung, the dangerous Archimage. brand. XXIII.

XXIX. Then rose the grated harem, to inclose

Haughty of heart and brow the warrior came, The loveliest maidens of the christian line;

In look and language proud as proud might be, Then, menials to their misbelieving foes,

Vaunting his lordsbip, lineage, fights, and fame, Castile's young nobles held forbidden wine;

Yet was that bare-foot mook more proud than he. Then, too, the holy cross, salvation's sign,

And as the ivy climbs the tallest tree, By impious hands was from the altar thrown,

So round the loftiest soul bis toils he wound, And the deep aisles of the polluted shrine

And with his spells subdued the fierce and free, Echoed, for holy lymn and organ-tone,

Till ermined Age, and Youth in arms renown'd, The santon's frantic dance, the fakir's gibbering moan. Honouring his scourge and hair-cloth, meekly kiss'd

the ground.
XXIV.

XXX.
How fares Don Roderick ?-Een as one who spies And thus it chanced that Valour, peerless knight,

Flames dart their glare d'er midnight's sable woof, Who ne'er to king or kaisar veil'd his crest,
And hears around his children's piercing cries,

Victorious still in bull-feast or in fight,
And sees the pale assistants stand aloof;

Since first his limbs with mail he did invest,
While cruel conscience brings him bitter proof, Stoop'd ever to that anchoret's behest;
His folly, or liis crime, lave caused his grief,

Nor reason'd of the righi, nor of the wrong,
And, while above him nods the crumbling roof, But at his bidding laid the lance in rest,

le curses earth and beaver-himself in chief- And wrought fell deeds the troubled world along, Desperate of earthly aid, despairing Heaven's relief! For he was fierce as brave, and piciless as strong. XXV.

XXXI. That scythe-arm d giant turu'd his fatal glass, Oft his proud galleys sought some new-found world, And twilight on the landscape closed her wings;

That latest sees the sun, or first the morn; Far to Asturian hills the war-sounds pass,

Still at that wizard's feet their spoils he hurld, -
And in their stead rebeck or timbrel rings ;

Ingots of ore, from rich Potosi borne,
And to the sound the bell-deck'd dancer springs, Crowns by caciques, aigrettes by omrahs worn,
Bazaars resound as when their marts are met,

Wrought of rare gems, but broken, rent, and foul ; In tourney light the Moor his jerrid flinys,

Idols of gold, from heathen temples torn, And on the land, as evening seem'd to set,

Bedabbled all with blood. With grisly scowl, The imaum's chaunt was heard from mosque or mi- The hermit mark'd the stains, and smiled beneath his

cowl. XXVI.

XXXII. So pass'd that pageant. Ere another came,

Then did he bless the offering, and bade make The visionary scene was wrapp'd in smoke,

Tribute to Heaven of gratitude and praise; Whose sulplı'rous wreaths were cross'd by sheets of And at his word the choral lıymns awake, flame;

Avd many a hand the silver censer sways. With every Nash a bolt explosive broke,

But with the incense breath these censers raise, Till Roderick deem'd the fiends had burst their yoke, Mix steams from corpses smouldering in the fire;

And waved gainst heaven the infernal gonfalone! The groans of prison'd victims mar the lays, For War a new and dreadful language spoke,

And shrieks of agony confound the quire, Never by ancient warrior heard or known;

While, 'mid the mingled sounds, the darken'd scenes Lightning and smoke her breath, and thunder was her expire.

naret.

tone.

XXXIII.

XXXIX.
Preluding light, were strains of music heard,

From a rude isle his ruder lineage came:
As once again revolved that measured sand,

The spark, that, from a suburb hovel's hearth
Such sounds as when, for sylvan dance prepared, Ascending, wraps some capital in-flame,
Gay Xeres summons forth her vintage band;

Hath not a meaner or more sordid birth.
When for the light bolero ready stand

And for the soul that bade him waste the earth-
The Mozo blithe, with gay Muchacha met, (9) The sable land-flood from some swamp obscure,
He conscious of his broider'd cap and band,

That poisons the glad husband-field with dearth,
She of her netted locks and light corsette,

And by destruction bids its fame endure,
Each tiptoe perch'd to spring, and shake the castanet. Hath not a source more sullen; stagnant, and impare.
XXXIV.

XL.
And well such strains the opening scene became; Before that leader strode a shadowy form:
For Valour bad relax'd his ardent look,

Her limbs like mist, her torch like meteor show'd,
And at a lady's feet, like lion tame,

With which she beckon'd him through fight and storin, Lay stretch d, full loth the weight ofarms to brook ; And all he crush'd that cross'd his desperate road, And soften'd Bigotry, upon his book,

Nor thought, nor fear’d, nor look'd on what he trode; Patter'd a task of little good or ill :

Realms could not glut his pride, blood could not But the blithe peasant plied his pruning-hook,

slake,
Whistled the muleteer o'er vale and hill,

So oft as e'er she shook her torch abroad-
And rung from village-green the merry seguidille.

It was Ambition bade her terrors wake,

Nor deign'd she, as of yore, a milder form to take.
XXXV.

XLI.
Gray royalty, grown impotent of toil,

No longer now she spurn'd at mean revenge,
Let the grave sceptre slip bis lazy hold,

Or staid her hand for conquer'd foeman's moan,
And careless saw his rule become the spoil

As when, the fates of aged Rome to change,
Of a loose female and ler minion bold.

By Cæsar's side she cross'd the Rubicon;
But peace was on the cottage and the fold,

Nor joy'd she to bestow the spoils she won,
From court intrigue, from bickering faction far; As when the banded powers of Greece were taskil
Beneath the chesnut-tree Love's tale was told,

To war beneath the Youth of Macedon:
And to the tinkling of the light guitar,

No seemly veil her modern minion ask'd,
Sweet stoop'd the western sun, sweet rose the evening lle saw her hideous face, and loved the fiend unmask'd.
star.
XXXVI.

XLII.
As that sea-cloud, in size like human hand

That prelate mark'd his march-On banners blazed
When first from Carinel by the Tislbite seen, With battles won in many a distant land,
Came slowly over-shadowing Israel's land,

On cagle-standards and on arms he gazed ;
Awhile, perchance, bedeck'd with colours sheen, « And hopest thou then,» he said, «thy power shall
While yet the sun-beams on its skirts had been,

stand?
Limning with purple and with gold its shroud, O thou hast builded on the shifting sand,
Till darker folds obscured the blue serene,

And thou hast temper'd it with slaughter's flood;
And blotted heaven with one broad sable cloud- And know, fell scourge in the Almighty's hand!
Then sheeled rain burst down, and whirlwinds howl'd Gore-moisten 'd trees shall perish in the bud,
aloud:

And by a bloody death shall die the man of blood !»–
XXXVII.

XLIII.
E'en so upon that peaceful scene was pour'd,

The ruthless leader beckond from his train,
Like gathering clouds, full many a foreign band, A wan fraternal shade, and bade him kncel,
And he, their leader, wore in sheath his sword, And paled his temples with the crown of Spain,
And offer'd peaceful front and open hand;

While trumpets rang, and heralds cried, « CasVeiling the perjured treachery he planud,

tile!» (10) By friendship's zeal aud honour's specious guise, Not that he loved him-No-in no man's weal, Unul he won the passes of the land;

Scarce in his own, e'er joy'd that sullen heart; Then, bursi were honour's oath, and friendship's Yet round that throne he bade his warriors wheel, ties!

That the poor puppet might perform his part,
He clutch'd his vulture-grasp, and calld fair Spain his And be a sceptred slave, at his stern beck to start.
prize.
XXXVII.

XLIV.
An iron crown his anxious forehead bore ;

But on the natives of that land misused,
And well such diadem his heart became,

Not long the silence of amazement hung,
Who ne'er his purpose for remorse gave o'er, Nor brook'd they long their friendly faith abused;
Or check'd his course for piety or shame;

For, with a common shriek, the general tongue,
Who, train'd a soldier, deem'd a soldier's fame Exclaim'd, « To arms!» and fast to arms they sprung.
Might flourish in the wreath of battles won,

And Valour woke, that genius of the land!
Though neither truth por honour deck'd his name; Pleasure and ease, and sloth, aside he flung,

Who, placed by fortune on a monarch's throne, As burst the awakening Nazarite his band,
Reck'd not of monarch's faith, or mercy's kingly tonc. When 'gainst his treacherous foes he clench'd bis

dreadful hand.

52

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

XLV.

LI. That mimic monarch now cast anxious eye

Then Zaragoza -blighted be the tongue Upon the satraps that begirt him round,

That names thy name without the honour due ! Now doffd his royal robe in act to fly,

For never hath the harp of minstrel rung, And from his brow the diadem unbound.

Of faith so felly proved, so firmly true!
So oft, so near, the patriot bugle wound,

Mine, sap, and bomb, thy shatter'd ruins knew,
From Tarik's walls to Bilboa's mountains blown, Each art of war's extremity had room,
These martial satellites hard labour found,

Twice from thy half-sack'd streets the foe withdrew, To guard awhile his substituted throne

And when at length stern Fate decreed thy doom, Light recking of his cause, but battling for their own. They won not Zaragoza, but her children's bloody

tomb. (12) XLVI.

LII. From Alpuhara's peak that bugle rung,

Yet raise thy head, sad city! Though in chains, And it was echo'd from Corunna's wall;

Enthrall'd thou canst not be! Arise and claim Stately Seville responsive war-shout flung,

Reverence from every heart where Freedom reigns, Grenada caught it in her Moorish hall;

For what thou worshippest !-thy sainted dame, Galicia bade her children fight or fall,

She of the column, honour'd be her name, Wild Biscay shook his mountain-coronet,

By all, whate'er their creed, who honour love ! Valencia roused her at the battle-call,

And like the sacred reliques of the flame, And foremost still where Valour's sons are met,

That gave some martyr to the bless'd above,
Fast started to his gun each fiery Miquelet.

To every loyal heart may thy sad embers prove!
XLVII.

LIII.
But unappalld, and burning for the fight,

Nor thine alone such wreck. Gerona fair! The invaders march, of victory secure ;

Faithful to death thy heroes should be sung, Skilful their force to sever or unite,

Manning the towers while o'er their heads the air And train d alike to vanquish or endure.

Swart as the smoke from raging furnace hung; Nor skilful less, cheap conquest to ensure,

Now thicker dark’ning where the mine was sprung, Discord to breathe, and jealousy to sow,

Now briefly lighten'd by the cannon's flare, To quell by boasting, and by bribes to lure:

Now arch'd with fire-sparks as the bomb was flung, While nought against them bring the unpractised

And redd'ning now with conflagration's glare, foe,

While by the fatal light the foes for storm prepare. Save hearts for freedom's cause, and hands for freedom's blow.

LIV.
XLVIII.

While all around was danger, strife, and fear,
Proudly they march-but 0! they march not forth,

While the earth shook, and darken'd was the sky, By one hot field to crown a brief campaign, And wide destruction stunnid the listening ear, As when their eagles, sweeping through the North,

Appall'd the heart, and stupified the eye,Destroy'd at every stoop an ancient reign!

Afar was heard that thrice-repeated cry, Far other fate had Heaven decreed for Spain ;

In which old Albion's heart and tongue unite, In vain the steel, in vain the torch was plied,

Whene'er her soul is up, and pulse beats high, New patriot armies started from the slain,

Whether it hail the wine-cup or the fight, High blazed the war, and long, and far, and wide,(11) and bid each arm be strong, or bid each heart be And oft the God of Battles blest the righteous side.

light.

LV.
XLIX.
Nor unatoned, where Freedom's foes prevail,

Don Roderick turn d him as the shout grew loudRemain'd their savage waste. With blade and brand,

A varied scene the changeful vision show'd, By day the invaders ravaged hill and dale,

For, where the ocean mingled with the cloud, But, with the darkness, the Guerilla band

A gallant navy slemm'd the billows broad. Came like night's tempest, and avenged the land, From mast and stern St George's symbol flow'd, And claim'd for blood the retribution due,

Blent with the silver cross to Scotland dear; Probed the hard heart, and lopp'd the murd'rous hand, Mottling the sea their landward barges rowd, And Dawn, when o'er the scene her beams she threw,

And flash'd the sun on bayonet, brand, and spear, Midst ruins they, had made, the spoilers' corpses knew. And the wild beach return'd the seaman's jovial ch eer. L.

LVI.
What minstrel verse may sing, or tongue may tell, It was a dread, yet spirit-stirring sight!
Amid the vision'd strife from sea to sea,

The billows foam'd beneath a thousand oars,
How oft the patriot banners rose or fell,

Fast as they land the red-cross ranks unite, Still honour'd in defeat as victory!

Legions on legions brightening all the shores. For that sad pageant of events to be,

Then banners rise, and cannon-signal roars, Show'd every form of fight by field and flood;

Then peals the warlike thunder of the drum, Slaughter and Ruin, shouting forth their glee,

Thrills the loud fife, the trumpet-flourish pours, Beheld, while riding on the tempest-scud,

And patriot hopes awake, and doubts are dumb, The waters choak'd with slain, the earth bedrench'd For, bold in Freedom's cause, the bands of Ocean with blood !

come!

[ocr errors]

LVII.
A various host they came-whose ranks display

Each mode in which the warrior meets the fight,
The deep battalion locks its firm array,

And meditates his aim the marksman light; Far glance the beams of sabres flashing bright,

Where mounted squadrons shake the echoing mead, Lacks not artillery breathing flame and night,

Nor the fleet ordnance whirld by rapid steed, That rival's lightning's flash in ruin and in speed.

LXIIJ.
O vain, though anxious, is the glance I cast,

Since Fate has mark'd futurity her own:
Yet fate resigns to worth the glorious past,

The deeds recorded, and the laurels won,
Then, though the Vault of Destiny (13) be gone,

King, prelate, all the phantasms of my brain,
Melted away like mist-wreaths in the sun,

Yet grant for faith, for valour, and for Spain,
One note of pride and fire, a patriot's parting strain!

CONCLUSION.

LVIN.
A various host—from kindred realms they came,

Brethren in arms, but rivals in renown-
For yon fair bands shall merry England claim,

And with their deeds of valour deck her crown.
Hers their bold part, and hers their martial frown,

And hers their scorn of death in freedom's cause, Their eyes of azure, and their locks of brown,

And the blunt speech that bursts without a pause, And freeborn thoughts, which league the soldier with the laws.

LIX.
And Oh! loved warriors of the minstrel's land!

Yonder your bonnets nod, your tartans wave!
The rugged form may mark the mountain band,

And harsher features, and a mien more grave; But ne'er in battle-field throbb'd heart so brave

As that which beats beneath the Scottish plaid, And when the pibroch bids the battle rave, .

And level for the charge your arms are laid,
Where lives the desperate foe that for such onset
staid !

LX.
Hark! from yon stately ranks what laughter rings,

Mingling wild mirth with war's stern minstrelsy,
His jest while each blithe comrade round bim flings,

And moves to death with military glee:
Boast, Erin, boast them! tameless, frank, and free,

In kindness warm, and fierce in danger known,
Rough Nature's children, humorous as she:

And he, yon chieftain-strike the proudest tone
Of thy bold harp, green Isle ! -The hero is thine own.

1.
* Who shall command Estrella's mountain tide

Back to the source, when tempest-chafed to hie!
Who, when Gascogne's vex'd gulph is raging wide,

Shall lush it as a nurse her infant's cry!
His magic power let such vain boaster try,

And when the torrent shall his voice obey,
And Biscay's whirlwinds list his lullaby,

Let him stand forth and bar mine eagles' way,
And they shall heed his voice, and at his bidding stay.

II.
« Else ne'er to stoop, till high on Lisbon's towers

They close their wings, the symbol of our yoke,
And their own sea hath whelm'd yon red-cross powers !»

Thus, on the summit of Alverca's rock,
To marshal, duke, and peer, Gaul's leader spoke.

While downward on the land his legions press,
Before them it was rich with vine and flock,

And smiled like Eden in her summer dress ;-
Behind their wasteful march a reeking wilderness. (14)

LXI.

III. Now on the scene Vimeira should be shown,

And shall the boastful chief maintain his word, On Talavera's fight should Roderick gaze,

Though Heaven hath heard the wailiugs of the land, And hear Corunna wail her battle won,

Though Lusitania whet her vengeful sword, And see Busaco's crest with lightning blaze:

Though Britons arm, and Wellington command! But shall fond fable mix with heroes' praise?

No! grim Busaco's iron ridge shall stand Hath Fiction's stage for Truth's long triumphs room? An adamantine barrier to his force! And dare her flowers mingle with the bays,

And from its base shall wheel his shatter'd band, That claim a long eternity to bloom

As from the unshaken rock the torrent hoarse Around the warrior's crest, and o'er the warrior's Bears off its broken waves, and seeks a devious course.

a
tomb ?
LXI.

IV.
Or may I give adventurous Fancy scope,

Yet not because Alcoba's mountain bawk, And stretch a bold hand to the awful veil

Hath on his best and bravest made her food, That hides futurity from anxious hope,

In numbers confident, yon chief shall baulk Bidding beyond it scenes of glory hail,

His lord's imperial thirst for spoil and blood; Apd painting Europe rousing at the tale

For full in view the promised conquest stood, Of Spain's invaders from her confines hurlid,

And Lisbon's matrons, from their walls, might sum While kindling nations buckle on their mail,

The myriads that had half the world subdued, And Fame, with clarion blast and wings unfurld, And hear the distant thunders of the drum, To freedom and revenge awakes an injured world! That bids the bands of France to storm and havoc

come.

V.
Four moons have heard these thunders idly rolld,

Have seen these wistful myriads eye their prey,
As famish'd wolves survey a guarded fold-

But in the middle path a lion lay!
At length they move—but not to battle-fray,

Nor blaze you fires where meets the manly fight;
Beacons of infamy they light the way,

Where cowardice and cruelty unite,
To damn with double shame their ignominious flight !

XI.
Go, baftled boaster! teach thy haughty mood

To plead at thine imperious master's throne ;
Say, thou hast left his legions in their blood,

Deceived his hopes, and frustrated thine own;
Say, that thine utmost skill and valour shown

By British skill and valour were outvied ;
Last say, thy conqueror was WELLINGTON!

And if he chafe, be his own fortune tried-
God and our cause to friend, the venture we 'll abide.

VI.

XII. O triumph for the Fiends of Lust and Wrath!

But ye, the heroes of that well-fought day, Ne'er to be told, yet ne'er to be forgot,

How shall a bard, unkvowing and unknown, What wanton horrors mark'd their wrackful path!

this meed to each victorious leader pay, The peasant butcher'd in his ruin'd cot,

Or bind on every brow the laurels won? The hoary priest e'en at the altar shot,

Yet fain my harp would wake its boldest tone, Childhood and age given o'er to sword and flame,

O'er the wide sea to hail CADOGAN brave; Women to infamy ;-no crime forgot,

And he, perchance, the minstrel note might own, By which inventive demons might proclaim

Mindful of meeting brief that Fortune gave Immortal hale to man, and scorn of God's great name! 'Mid yon far western isles that hear the Atlantic rave. VII.

XII. The rudest sentinel, in Britain born,

Yes! hard the task, when Britons wield the sword, With borror paused to view the havoc done,

To give each chief and every field its fame; Gave his poor crust to feed some wretch forlorn, (15) Hark! Albuera thunders BERESFORD,

Wiped his stern eye, then fiercer grasp'd his gun. And red Barrosa shouts for dauntless GREME! Nor with less zeal shall Britain's peaceful son

O for a verse of tumult and of flame, Exult the debt of sympathy to pay;

Bold as the bursting of their cannon-sound, Riches nor poverty the task shall shun,

To bid the world re-echo, to their fame! Nor prince nor peer, the wealthy nor the gay,

For never, upon gory battle-ground, Nor the poor peasant's mite, nor bard's more worthless With conquest's well-bought wreath were braver victors lay.

crown'd! VII. But thou-unfoughten wilt thou yield to Fate,

O who shall grudge him Albuera's bays, Minion of Fortune, now miscall'd in vain?

Who brought a race regenerate to the field, Can vantage-ground no confidence create,

Roused them to emulate their fathers' praise, Marcella's pass, nor Guarda's mountain-chain? Temper'd their headlong rage, their courage steeld,(19) Vain-glorious fugitive!(16) yet turn again!

And raised fair Lusitania's fallen shield, Behold, where, named by some prophetic seer,

And gave new edge to Lusitania's sword, Flows Honour's Fountajn' as fore-doom'd the stain And taught her sons forgotten arms to wield

From thy dishonour'd name and arms to clear- Shiver'd my harp, and burst its every chord, Fall'n Child of Fortune, turn, redeem her favour here! If it forget thy worth, victorious BERESFORD!

XIV.

XV.

IX.
Yet, ere thou turn'st, collect each distant aid ; Not on that bloody field of battle won,
Those chief that never heard the lion roar!

Though Gaul's proud legions rolld like mist away, Within whose souls lives not a trace portray'd,

Was half his self-devoted valour shown,Of Talavera, or Mondego's,shore !

He gaged but life on that illustrious day; Marshal each band thou hast, and summon more;

But when he toild those squadrops to array, Of war's fell stratagems exhaust the whole;

Who fought like Britons in the bloody game, Rank upon rank, squadron on squadron pour,

Sharper than Polish pike, or assagay, Legion on legion on thy foeman roll,

He braved the shafts of censure and of shame, And weary out his arm--thou canst not quell his soul. And, dearer far than life, he pledged a soldier's fame. X.

XVI. O vainly gleams with steel Agueda's shore,

Nor be his praise o'erpast who strove to hide Vainly thy squadrons hide Assuava's plain,

Bencath the warriors vest affection's wound, And front the flying thunders as they roar,

Whose wish Heaven for his country's weal denied, With frantic charge and tenfold odds, in vain! (17) Danger and fate he sought, but glory found. And what avails thee that, for CAMERON slain,

From clime to clime, where'er war's trumpets sound, Wild from his plaided ranks the yell was given-(18) The wanderer went; yet, Caledonia ! still Vengeance and grief gave mountain-rage the rein, Thine was his thought in march and tented ground;

And, at the bloody spear-point headlong driven, Ile dream'd 'mid Alpine cliffs of Athole's hill, Thy despot's giant guards fled like the rack of heaven. And heard in Ebro's oar his Lyndoch's lovely rill.

The literal translation of Fuentes d'Honoro.

« 前へ次へ »